View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Archive content
April 29, 2004updated 17 May 2007 11:30am

BBC loses chat-show king to ITV

By Press Gazette

Michael Parkinson, the BBC’s premier chat-show host, has been poached by ITV in an exclusive two-year deal commencing from this autumn, after the corporation failed to guarantee his preferred Saturday 10pm slot during recent contract renegotiations.

The move appears to have come as a surprise to many in the industry and is contrary to many reports last week that the veteran journalist and presenter had renewed his contract at the BBC for another two years, in a deal worth up to £1m.

But Parkinson’s favoured slot is to be taken over by the forthcoming run of Match of the Day, forcing him to consider the competition.

Parkinson will host a Saturday night show on ITV1 produced by Granada, and is also in discussions with Nigel Pickard, the network’s director of programmes regarding other projects.

Pickard said: “TV stars don’t come much bigger than Michael Parkinson and I am delighted that he is joining us. There’s no doubt that he is the best in his field and will be a fantastic addition to ITV’s Saturday nights.”

The defection comes after a slump in ratings for his BBC One show.

Content from our partners
Mather Economics and InsurAds combine to help publishers boost revenue
Press Gazette publishes ultimate guide to reader conversion and monetisation
Slow online ads cost UK publishers £50m a year: Here's how to fix them

Although ITV is touting the move as “exclusive”, the BBC insisted the presenter will continue with the Sundaymorning programme Parkinson’s Sunday Supplement on BBC Radio 2.

BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey said Parkinson was “the doyen of talk-show hosts and it’s been fantastic to have his show.

“With Match of the Day returning to Saturday nights we were unable to offer Michael the slot he wanted.

“Of course I’m sorry to see him go but BBC One was already preparing for the future with big names from the next generation who are moving the talk show on.”

Parkinson, who writes a sports column for The Daily Telegraph, began his television career on ITV as a current affairs producer for Granada TV.

By Wale Azeez

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network